Raleighing

As I was lamenting the *?!& game, I thought I would share a great nonpolitical blog that focuses on the goings on in Raleigh. It is www.raleighing.com. The site has updates on various building projects and generally anything being added to Raleigh. It is a great way to find out about the community that (many of) us live in.

Mark and John

I've had two big days. Last night I was at a meeting where John Edwards spoke. Tonight I enjoyed the company of Mark Warner. I have gotten a glimpse of the new face of the Democratic Party . . . and I like it a lot. These guys are focused on competence and integrity, results and resolve. Grounded in an honest understanding of real people's lives, they are working hard to build the common ground that unites us.

That's what BlueNC is about too.

As we countdown to November 7 - exactly nine months from today - I am more inspired and excited than I've been in years. It is a privilege to be on this journey with all of you.

Jim Black's Dealings to Be Exposed

The Democratic Speaker of the North Carolina House, Jim Black, is about to have his dirty laundry aired for all to see. For a while, BlueNC has been calling for Black to come clean on his many scandals and possibly resign. Tomorrow the Democrat controlled State Board of Elections will be holding public hearings to determine the existence or extent of possible corruption. There is a great article on the matter in the Greensboro News-Record. From the article:

For months, the details of alleged wrongdoing tied to House Speaker Jim Black have festered mostly in private.

ASU Paper Blasts Virginia Foxx

Finally some students are noticing that the Republican budget has left them out. From the Appalachian Online:

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the largest cut to student financial aid in its history Wednesday.

Approximately $12 billion were slashed from funding to federal student loan programs.

In a narrow vote largely along party lines, the House voted 216-214 in favor of the cuts.

One of those “yeas” came from our very own representative, Republican Virginia Foxx.

Surplus on the Way for North Carolina

Easley came into office five years ago facing large state defeicits. Now it looks like he will acheive a budget surplus for the third straight year. (article here).

While numbers still are being finalized, the General Assembly's fiscal researchers said the state has collected $213.7 million more than the $9.8 billion needed so far for the spending year which began last July and ends in June. After the first three months of the fiscal year, the state reported $71 million more in collections than projected.

Democracy NC: Same-Day Voter Registration

BlueNC has invited progressive organizations working for change in North Carolina to share their goals and experiences. Adam Sotak is an Organizer for Democracy North Carolina, a non-partisan and non-profit voting rights organization based in Carrboro. He responded with this call for same-day voter registration. (The N.C. Democratic Party State Executive Committee passed a Resolution of Support for Same-Day Registration at their meeting on Jan. 28 in Raleigh.)

Did You Know?

>> Over 1 million voting-age citizens
in North Carolina are not registered to vote*.

>> Over 300,000 potential voters
age 18-24 in North Carolina are not registered to vote*.

>> Over 400,000 of our state’s
1,000,000 unregistered voting-age citizens are 35 and under*.

My Pizza Guy Ricky

When I first moved back to North Carolina last January, my wife and I started frequenting the same pizza place pretty regularly. It's attached to an Italian Restaurant, no delivery or anything but a good place to get a slice. Anyway, as time went by I got to know the fella behind the counter, Enrique or Ricky. Now, I'm not saying that my neighborhood is snotty, but it's not the kind of place where everyone is going to chit-chat with the illegal working behind the counter. Me, I'm blue-collar, reformed white trash through and through - so Ricky and I get along just fine.

I was talking to him tonight and it got me thinking. See, Ricky has a wife and three kids in Mexico that he sends money to every month. He hasn't seen his kids in almost three years, because he's illegal, and they live outside the US. Here's the interesting part, Ricky is one of the many illegal aliens that uses an Individual Tax Identification Numbers to pay taxes.

Wonder of wonders

Dear John Hood.

Imagine my surprise today to discover you're defending George Bush and his wire-tapping scheme for domestic spying.

In the domestic-spying case, I tend to side with the Bush administration, albeit warily. As I understand it, no one doubts that the president has the inherent right as commander-in-chief to assign personnel to spy on the nation’s enemies abroad without obtaining a court’s permission. It would be absurd to suggest that the president can order a terrorist killed but can’t order his phone tapped. The difficulty lies when a suspect communicates with someone within the United States. I think the world of modern communication makes it impractical to operate as if Sarah were still operating the switchboard in Mayberry.

Democrats Have Uphill Battle in N.C.'s 8th District

The Charlotte Observer has a piece this morning that makes the future of North Carolina's 8th Congressional District appear bleak. The financial numbers aren't looking good for Democrats Tim Dunn and Larry Kissell.

According to the FECinfo data compiled by the Observer, Robin Hayes had $733,837 in the bank as of 12/31/05. Tim Dunn had $47,118 and Larry Kissell had $3,653. It's a good thing the numbers don't tell the whole story.

Dunn and Kissell are running against each other in a primary. This means that the money will leave the campaign as quickly as it is coming in. I haven't seen anything by Tim Dunn that is out locally yet, but Larry Kissell is running a traditional grassroots campaign with a twist. He has also reached out to the netroots for support.

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